Travel UK

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens

Of course, that is Anne Hathaway aka Shakespeare’s wife, not Anne “the actress everyone loves to hate” Hathaway.  Yet anther one of the historic homes in the Stratford-upon-Avon area. This one has incredibly lovely gardens!
 
Long before Sam and I moved to Stratford, several years ago when I studied abroad in England during University, we visited Stratford on a school trip. Anne Hathaway’s cottage was the place I remembered most vividly from that trip so it was nice to be able to go back and experience it again.
 
travel to anne hathaway's cottage
View of the cottage from the gardens.
 
This is the house where a young Shakespeare would have come to court a much older (and wealthier Anne). Rumour has it that they married because she was already pregnant. Naughty, naughty Shakespeare! It’s knowns as “the most romantic of the Shakespeare houses.”
 
travel to anne hathaway's cottage

Inside some of the little huts made with branches around the property, there are places to sit and a button to press. When you press the button, the voice of a famous actors surrounds you, reading you various sonnets.

There was a festival the day we visited, complete with a booth for making larger paper flowers. I let Sam chose the colours and for some reason he decided on orange and blue and the woman at the booth said, “Maybe you should have chosen….”

travel to anne hathaway's cottage

Despite the strange colour combination, I love our huge paper flower. We moved most of our belongings down to our storage unit in London last week, and this paper flower is one of the few things left in our Stratford flat. We are going to float him down the River Avon when we leave to say goodbye. (Plus, it would never make the journey back to London undamaged.)

travel to anne hathaway's cottage
#1 Titled- One man contemplates a paper flower.
Price on Request.
 
There’s so many nice things to do at the cottage and gardens.  There’s a lovely orchard you can stroll through and you’re allowed to eat any apples you can get your hands on. Plus there’s a lavender maze. (Like a corn maze but much better smelling.) And a 20 minute woodland walk on the property.
 
I have a love/hate relationship with the singing tree. It’s a real tree rigged to read sonnets and bits of Shakespeare to you when you tap or stroke it on nailed in bits of copper in the trunk. Despite my trying at least 100 times, the tree never registered my touch. Sam barely touched it at all and it would recognise his fingers. Maybe I am just a figment of everyone’s imagination? Or a ghost? Maybe I’m like Bruce Willis in the “Sixth Sense” and I just think that I have continued to write my blog.
 
Look at the massive queue of elderly patrons waiting to go inside the cottage behind me!
Sam and I have so few photos together because we never ask anyone to take them for us.
This time a lovely woman volunteered and we didn’t even ask! We must have looked desperate.
travel to anne hathaway's cottage

This wicker crescent moon bench is a functional sculpture inspired by “The Merchant of Venice”:

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
 
I love that it frames the cottage so beautifully.  Obviously it was intentional, I just really appreciate it!
travel to anne hathaway's cottage
See that? It’s a potato on a string with feathers stuck in it.
 
No, that’s not a weird Shakespearean voodoo doll, it is what Tudor farmers would put in the fields to scare birds away. Although I think it looks like a bird sitting on a wire. And if I was a bird that wouldn’t scare me away. In fact, it would draw me in because I’d think “Hey let’s go chill with my buddy over there on that fence. Maybe there are good snacks.”
 
I clearly don’t understand the logic behind the potato bird.
travel to anne hathaway's cottage
“Baaa ram ewe! Wait, why aren’t the moving the way I want them to? It worked for Babe….”

This will let you know what a city girl I am, but I am still tickled when I see sheep just wandering around. I always try to talk to them.  That’ll do pig, that’ll do.

travel to anne hathaway's cottage

Of course, a day out in the countryside in England wouldn’t be complete without a rainy walk back home!

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  • I went there when I studied abroad as well and I do not remember any of the fun things you mentioned, they have really amped it up since 2005!

  • That’s so cool! I can’t believe i’ve lived in the UK my whole life and never been! Definitely going on my list!
    I particularly love the queue of pensioners – that’s the sign of a truly great country house visit! And I hope we get to make a crazy giant flower too!
    If you want to try somewhere similar whilst you’re in England try Beatrix Potter’s cottage in the Lake district – slightly less grand and usually more rainy but such a great place to visit πŸ™‚

    • Going to Beatrix Potter’s house would be lovely! I also want to visit Wordsworth’s home there. Sam and I just haven’t had work or excuse to head up that direction but we’ve both talked about it because it’s such a beautiful part of the country! Maybe next summer! xx

  • My gran lives down the road from there and I’ve visited a few times. A lovely part of the country! And I love your huge flower!

    • It is very lovely! I’ve really enjoyed out time living here even though I am also excited to move back to London. The flower appreciates the compliments! xx

  • This looks absolutely gorgeous! Another place to add to my list of sites to visit when I finally get to visit England!
    xx

    mysmallrayofsunshine.blogspot.com

    • I would 100% add Stratford upon Avon to a list of places to visit in England. Although I’d recommend summer as the best time of year to visit, even though it will be packed full of tourists then! xx

  • ahh I loved this house and gardens, and the little woodland walk. We went to all the houses and this was by far the prettiest, I’m a sucker for thatched roofs.

    Dannielle | Chic-a-DeeDee

  • Oh my gosh I think we’re best friends! I love Anne, love Shakespeare, love old cottages, and I always randomly offer to take strangers’ pictures!

    • Hahaha brilliant! Maybe it was secretly you in disguise then πŸ˜‰ xx

  • How lovely! I remember visiting Anne’s cottage during a study abroad but it was raining like mad that day and we couldn’t really enjoy all the pretty outside things. I loved seeing your sunny, cheerful pictures of the place–it made me cast my own experience in a lighter shade πŸ™‚

    • Oh no! It definitely is one of those places that’s beauty is focused outside. I imagine with poor weather it was really hard to experience that! I’m glad that you’ve been able to see the sunny side now though! xx

  • We keep meaning to go, but you’re post has convinced me. Now for some good weather!

    • Yes! Go! And you can buy one ticket that gets you into all 5 Shakespeare properties. It’s slightly expensive but it’s valid for an entire year so you can come back for various festivals and things throughout the year and you don’t have to cram viewing all the houses into one day! xx

  • Shakespeare would get Anne pregnant.

  • Loved visiting Stratford and Anne’s cottage! Also, MooMoo’s probably has the best milkshake hands down.

  • Those are my fav. hockey team’s colours..! Orange and Blue for the Edmonton Oilers. See, Sam knew exaaaactly what he was doing when he chose those colours.
    The tree is suuuper cool.. and the old people going into the cottage looks like a typical line of people going into our grocery store at the chime of 7 am when the store opens..lol! (I live in a retirement community….. get it… get it!?!)
    Okay! I will buy some ad space. I just don’t know what is expected of me.. if I do!? LOL
    What is the button swap? I just put your button on my blog? And then you take my link to mine and put it on yours? I would even buy the top $12 one.. I’m just nervous about having to be apart of a blog hop or something I’m not wanting to do..?? LOL Help me understand!

  • Looks like a really cute and interesting place to visit πŸ™‚

  • Haha, while in high school I went on a trip where we visited Stratford-Upon-Avon. At 17, I was like uggghhh how boooooring! Now, I would TOTALLY love it! Curses teenager me!

  • This is adorable! I visited two precious little villages in the Cotswolds last year, Burford and Minster Lovell… I hope to one day see Stratford-Upon-Avon too!!
    So glad that I found you through the Travel Tuesday link-up!

    Elena

  • I’m one of those people that will ask couples if they want me to take their picture for them. Since I love having my own picture taken, I always want to share that feeling with others!

    This cottage looks so cute! I love that the tree talks when you touch it! Well, when Sam touches it.

  • That cottage is beautiful Amanda! I just love the quaint cottages England has to offer (although I’ve never been). Kind of jealous you are living in England πŸ˜› xo

    • Thank you very much Lauren! I love the English countryside. When I first came of England, I didn’t leave London for the first 4 months I was here, and then I quickly learned what I was missing out on! x

  • so interesting! And thanks for linking up πŸ™‚

  • Dee

    You killed ne with baaa ram ewe! I also can’t ask strangers to take my photo that’s why I bought a monopod! It’s the best thing ever!

  • That cottage looks so awesome!

  • I definitely thought of the actress when I saw this post title. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos! I actually grew up on a farm and I still get excited when I see sheep or other animals wandering around, so no shame! πŸ™‚

    P.S. – I think we were emailing about my scarf obsession a little while ago. I finally counted. 21! And that’s not counting my “winter/snow scarves.” Just my decorative scarves. πŸ˜‰

    • Ah! I would have loved to have grown up surrounded by animals! I am a bit animal crazy. Hahaha that’s loads of scarves! Glad you’re getting to fully exercise them now. Do you wear one every day now? x

      • Pretty much! One of my co-workers actually pointed out to me that she was wearing a scarf the other day and said she thought of me when she was getting dressed. I didn’t realize scarves were “MY” thing, but I guess there are! πŸ™‚